According to an analysis by the Washington Post, Trump’s voting bloc was primarily comprised of middle- and upper-income Americans. An NBC poll of Trump voters from March 2016 showed that only one-third of his supporters had incomes lower than $50,000, while the other two-thirds made more than $50,000. A similar trend arose in the general election as well. According to the American National Election Study, 35 percent of people who said they voted for Trump had household incomes under $50,000. The other two-thirds of Trump voters “came from the better-off half of the economy.”
Ignoring race to focus solely on economics helps the GOP, and that won’t even be an option considering whom Trump’s policies will target, argues columnist Greg Sargent. But author Ian Haney-López asserts that the Democratic Party presenting itself as “a coalition of minorities, each with discrete identities but united by a few shared interests” won’t reverse the trends that have fed massive inequality either. Instead, Democrats must confront the right’s white identity politics for what it is: a scam against the entire American working class.
History warns us to be very, very careful when using the phrase “white working class.” The reason has nothing to do with political correctness. Rather, it concerns the changing historical definitions of who is “white.” When we invent the white working class, we whitewash an increasingly diverse manufacturing workforce.
Identity politics rooted in race, gender and cultural identity invariably leads to tribalism—the great enemy of democracy. As Mark Lilla wrote, “the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan.”
What is necessary moving forward, what is essential if the future can yet be won, is a politics that can win the world as it is. There are no politics that can combat ethno-nationalism but the politics of class solidarity
The clash of deeply felt racial and class grievances, compounded by cultural wounds on both sides of the identity divide, is crowding out the progressive brand of populism that America once had and so sorely needs.
Media are infatuated with millennial voters and relentless report how they might not like Clinton as much as they loved Barack Obama. Mathematically, the indications are that the Republican Party stands poised to be routed by those voters in November.